"Gelboni came into the picture for us when our band was undergoing drastic changes, not only
in sound but also in our lineup and our approach to the business. Our first meeting was at one
of his live demo listening sessions at the Nashville New Music Conference in 2004. This was a
scary time for us, as we were forced to re-evaluate what we were doing and whether or not to
keep doing it. The honesty with which Gelboni approached us took us aback from the beginning.
We weren't used to anyone in the industry doing anything but blowing smoke and trying to make a
buck off of whatever band they were dealing with at the time.
As the principal songwriter for ashwednesday, I met with Gelboni in a hotel room and
played some bits of some of our tunes (one being "Something Good", which I will get back to later)
and got his feedback. We spent only a half an hour before I realized that this guy was the real
deal. He allowed me to free my mind and realize that, although I thought the song was written
and finished as we had already recorded it and had been playing it for several months, there
were an infinite number of things that I could do differently in the arrangement and structuring
of the song to make it a completely different (and better) machine.
Fast-forward a few months and Gelboni is with us in our hometown, sticking it out in our
garage for twelve hours a day. By the end of the week, we were the tightest we had ever been
and our songs were all 100% better than we ever thought they could be. He spent so much time
on every aspect of every song that it blew our minds. Every bar of every song was thoroughly
examined and brought to the pinnacle of what it could be.
Another few months later, and we find "Something Good" on regular rotation on several
ClearChannel radio stations (including being the number 8 single on our nearest ClearChannel
rock station). We are getting shots at doing unbelievable gigs (such as pre-show parties
for the Aerosmith/Cheap Trick tour) and we are getting attention from some labels and other
I've been in this band since its inception in late 1999, and I have to say that the turning
point for us has been when Gelboni stepped in and allowed us to take a step back and examine
what we are doing. These days, we bring a lot of what he has taught us to the rehearsal
space before we even show him the songs. We definitely never had conversations about
"relative minors" or "what would this section sound like if we played it backwards?"
before Gelboni. He has made me a better songwriter and our band a better and sturdier unit.
There is not enough good I can say to bands that are considering working with Gelboni.
It's going to change the way you think about music and make you realize that the song you
think is great may be, but it can always be better."
-Zach Barnett (ashwednesday) 606-481-0004